Gujarat’s historic textile folk art, Mata Ni Pachedi, received the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) label on World Intellectual Property Day. In this four-century-old religious art form, the mother goddess is portrayed at the centre, surrounded by images of her myths and legends on the rest of the fabric.
The Gujarat Council on Science & Technology (GUJCOST) applied for the GI tag in 2020 on behalf of the craft. Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal, presented the GI certificate during a special ceremony in Delhi on Wednesday to celebrate World IP Day.
A traditional hand-painted or block-printed piece of cotton fabric known as Mata Ni Pachedi, or “Behind the Mother Goddess,” is made by hand and is made of cotton. The mother goddess is depicted in the centre of this rectangular cloth, which is also replete with her myths and legends. The fabric, which is sometimes referred to as “Mata no Chandarvo” if it is square-shaped and used for a canopy, is dyed and decorated using natural and mineral colours.
Due to its sacred nature, this textile art is also known as sacred cloth, temple cloth, temple hanging, shrine cloth, or ritual cloth of the mother goddess.
The art form dates back 300-400 years. Some of its practitioners moved from Viramgam region of Ahmedabad district to Ahmedabad city approximately 200 years ago in search of a better livelihood due to frequent droughts in Viramgam.
The unique textile painting and block printing tradition is still practised today by a small number of Chitaras (painters) in Ahmedabad, preserving its rich history and cultural significance.